The Best Defense

Iraq: some placeholder thoughts

I've held off on commenting on the situation in Iraq during this unsettled transitional period. The bombings in Baghdad (another big one today) strike as painful but irrelevant. On the plus side, al Qaeda in Iraq has suffered some good hits. On the negative, the political situation looks as unresolved as ever. The other day an Iraqi friend gloomily predicted to me that the question of the next government would remain open until September, and then, once it was solved and the Americans were out of the way, violence would begin to increase. 

My gut feeling is that Iraq is adrift, and that this slow centrifugal process ultimately will result in, at best, a loose confederation. In other words, not only do I think the glass is half empty, I am not sure how long the glass can take the strain of what it is holding.

But the truth is that I don't know and neither does anyone else. But as Tom Friedman used to say every year , the next six months in Iraq could be decisive.


The Best Defense

Another reason to support Obamacare

Employers are afraid to hire recent vets, Leo "Three Sticks" Shane of Stars & Stripes reports, because of fear that PTSD and TBI could make them go postal. Actually I think it probably is more from fear that PTSD and TBI will drive up the costs of employer-provided health insurance.

Whatever the reason, one of out five veterans under the age of 24 is out of work, the newspaper says. 

Napalm filled tires/flickr